The word downsizing can cause some people to struggle with the notion. However, change the word to rightsizing and it makes a lot more sense. While the concept is the same – moving into a home with a smaller footprint, the thought and reasoning behind the move will help those who are wrestling with the decision to see the benefits of making a move.
One of the key strategies of rightsizing is timing it properly. There is no point in moving into a smaller space if you still enjoy hosting big parties, keeping a garden or maintaining your home. The best time to move to a smaller place is when everything that goes along with a home no longer appeals to you. If you are getting tired of shoveling snow in the winter, cutting grass in the summer, cleaning out gutters or, if you simply want the freedom to get up and leave without worry, then you might be ready for a smaller space.
If you have lived in a house with a large square footage, be realistic about how much space you can comfortably move into without feeling claustrophobic. Charles and Maria lived in a 4000 square foot house and decided to right size after their son left home and their daughter entered college. They initially bought a 1100 square foot condo. After a year of living there and having to work from home due to Covid, they realized that it just wasn’t big enough for their needs. They moved this summer to an 1800 square foot condo with enough space for both of them to work from home comfortably. “We can now breathe and aren’t always in each other’s hair!” says Maria, who also confessed to believing that they had made a huge mistake after moving into the first condo. However, with enough space, Maria now sees the advantage of condo life and wouldn’t go back to a home with all of its maintenance.
Another way to guarantee comfort when you rightsize is to properly assess your existing furniture. Is it too big? Too much? Not the right style? Simply taking the furniture from a home and moving it into a condo might seem like a good, economical way of doing things, but it can backfire. In most cases, the furniture we have in our homes will be too big for a smaller condo. Measure everything and use masking tape to approximate what it will look/feel like in the condo. You will then have a decent idea of whether the items you already have can be taken with you. If it is too big, then you can always sell it and buy furniture that will be more suitable to your new space.
If you are thinking of rightsizing, be sure to choose your location properly. To make up for the lack of space indoors, many people opt for either a complex with facilities such as party rooms, gyms or swimming pools or a location close to amenities such as parks, nature trails or even downtown where there is usually plenty to do and places to go.
Rightsizing is a personal decision that can make sense if you are ready for it and if you are looking for a simpler, less encumbered lifestyle.